"Don't judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant."
Robert Louis Stevenson

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Encinitas Garden Festival and Tour

I am going to the Encinitas Garden Festival this Saturday! There will be 16 private gardens to tour, plants for sale and gardening lectures. I just hope I have enough time to view the gardens and listen to some of the lectures.  As always so much gardening and so little time.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Heirloom Tomato Planting for 2011

Now that my flower doll making and virtual garden parties are over I thought that I should get down to some serious garden logging.  I have created a spreadsheet for my 2011 tomato planting.  I have planted all of these and still have some more to find space for. I have many duplicates as I have grown most of these from seeds; a few came from a local nursery that sells heirlooms. So far everyone looks pretty good. I have listed my planting dates on the spreadsheet. I should have waited until the 10th of this month for all of them as the two hail storms we had damaged the leaves of the ones I planted in March.  I am sure they will be fine but next year I will try to keep myself from being too anxious and not plant in March.

(click on the spreadsheet to increase the size)

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Hollyhock Dolls, Abutilon Dolls, Flower Dolls

When I was a little girl living in New York, a neighbor girl that often babysat my sister and I would make Hollyhock dolls for us.  I remember these dolls as if it were yesterday.
(click on any of the pictures to make them larger)

First gather your flowers; today I used  pale yellow Hollyhocks and dark salmon Abutilon flowers. You will need one flower and one unopened flower bud, a long wood skewer and a small flower or the stamen from the Abutilon for a hat for each doll. Also a glass head straight pin to adhere the flower hat.
Begin with the face, this is the unopened flower bud. Fold under two or three green petals, this will give her a face (forgive me my blurred photo below). On the Abutilon flower you will need to cut the green petals as they are too long to fold under. (see larger picture below). Also, you will need to cut the stem end off of the flower and the bud. Notice in photo below it is off and in the above photo they are still on the flowers.
I use a long wood skewer for tucking under the petals on the bud, this will look like she has bangs. You can also loosen the other petals in the back to make it look like she has hair.
 Now remove the stamen from the inside of the flower using sharp scissors, cut close to the inside top of the flower.  Then poke the pointed end of a long wood skewer up through the flower so that about an inch or two is showing.  This is where you will add your flower bud face.
Gently push the bud onto the pointed end of the skewer pushing until it just reaches the top of her head but does not go through the end.
She should look like this, notice the face; this picture shows a clearer image of the bangs. A little of the wood skewer becomes her neck.
You can also add another flower to her head if you like. I used a Heartsease (viola) flower and a yellow glass head pin to attach it to the head. 
Here is a doll I made from an Abutilon flower.
The only difference in the directions is to angle the wood skewer when poking through the Abutilon flower. These flowers are much more delicate and they tend to break if you are not very careful.  I also used the stamen from this flower for the dolls hat.

Dancing in the Fairy Garden!

Friday, April 15, 2011


The Hollyhocks are just beginning to bloom....my friends and I have been waiting for spring for so long and now that it is finally here we have decided to have a party.

"I want to have a little house with sunlight on the floor,
A chimney with a rosy hearth, and lilacs by the door.
With windows looking east and west, and a crooked apple tree,
And room beside the garden fence for hollyhocks to be!"
Nancy Byrd Turner

Come join us won't you?
(Click on any picture to see a larger size)
Some of my Iris in bloom, mixed with flowers from my Borage plants

 Some drove for miles and miles, across many state lines and through numerous mountain ranges.

One was stuck in a late Snow Storm!

For Ferris the rains brought floods, and mudslides but she made it through....

 Some walked through Vineyards....
Some came bare foot with perfectly manicured toes!

Greenrice came with flowers at her feet..
 Many came in garden clogs....

A Red Headed Girl came in Red Garden Clogs...

Some brought garden hats...

Jerseygirlie brought along Katie a true and trusted friend.....

A female Oriole even stopped by to take a bath before coming to the Party...
Some stopped to play in the dirt....
Betty came by rail....

Tammy came by motorcycle...

Some walked along the coast highway 101....

Some came just to visit Pippy!

Cookie Crumble lives here and didn't travel at all....

One by one they finally all made it.

This way to the Garden!

Just a little further...

You're here, finally, I was getting worried.  

May I offer you a refreshing glass of Hibiscus Tea with Borage Flower Ice Cubes....

Welcome to my Garden! 

Tables were placed throughout the garden so guest could choose the perfect spot to dine.

Butterfly plates were placed with fine silver. 

the rose garden table...

Our Menu and a few photos of what we served at our party.
Granny's Oven Roasted Vegetables

Ferris Warm Pasta Salad with Shrimp
Recipe Here

Carla's Roasted Baby Dutch Potato Salad with Dill
Recipe here

Kel's Egg less Lemon Snaps
Recipe Here

Susan's Arugula with Sweet Potatoes Salad Recipe Here

The Country Tart's Roast Duck with Apple-Chestnut Quinoa Stuffing
Recipe Here

Pamela's fresh picked Avocados and Oranges from her groves

Chocolate Fruit Cake (OK, who brought last Christmas' fruit cake!)

The Hydrangea bush was visited by sweet little yellow Finches

Lavender was in bloom...and covered with busy Honey Bees...

A Special Spot was reserved just for Granny...after taking care of all those grandbabies she needed a rest.

Flowers for Granny

 Tea and Dessert by the Roses

Big Hugs to my guests from NutriMirror, to Bah for coming up with the idea, to all of you who showed up with the food!

Thank you for your kind and caring friendship. 

Thank You PamelaAnn, Jim, USAndyD, Silviaann, csiegfried, Bah1955, Jcsteele, JerseyGirlie, Ferris, Elaine1952, Tspindor, Granny, Billikit, Greenrice, Denaburg, KarynD, Susano, Carrieredhead, Blazinmomma, dianemitchell, A Letter To A Friend, lilifx, and lmatava for coming to the party.  I have loved having you in my home and garden.  I hope I didn't miss anyone.

 “Beauty is an all-pervading presence. It unfolds to the numberless

flowers of the Spring; it waves in the branches of the trees and in

the green blades of grass; it haunts the depths of the earth and

the sea, and gleams out in the hues of the shell and the precious

stone. And not only these minute objects, but the ocean, the

mountains, the clouds, the heavens, the stars, the rising and the

setting sun all overflow with beauty. The universe is its temple;

and those people who are alive to it cannot lift their eyes without

feeling themselves encompassed with it on every side.”

William Ellery Channing

Peggy, Millie and Tally

Henny Penny is that you?

Henny Penny, they tell me they want my fleece for wool is there anything you can do to stop this?
This man looks scary and I hate a straight razor.

The day ended with a Huge display of Fireworks.

It's a long way home, I better get started back..

A Midsummer's Night Eve Party can not be far away...